Lambert says he’ll have half an eye on the future when making January signings
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says he’ll have half an eye on the future when making signings during the January transfer window. Here’s what he had to say at today’s press conference.
Q: You’ve been linked to Hull City striker Will Keane. Is that move close?
A: There are loads of names out there at this minute in time. Hopefully next week, if things go right, we’ll be able to get a few in.
I know the way it works the transfer window, I’m not silly, I know the way it functions. It’s only when somebody comes in the door that I start to believe it.
I don’t get caught up with the hysteria of names being mentioned left, right and centre.
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Q: Do these signings need to be ready to hit the ground running?
A: With the loan market, lads aren’t playing at their parent clubs for a reason. We have to get them up to speed pretty quickly when they do come. We’ll be hoping, as you say, that they are ready to hit the ground running.
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Q: You spoke a lot last week about the need to be more clinical and having to strengthen your front line. On Tuesday (in the 3-2 home defeat to Millwall) it was the goals conceded that were costly. Is the defence an area you want to strengthen?
A: I gave the club a list of the areas that I thought needed strengthening and it was virtually every area of the pitch. I thought we needed to be a bit stronger in all areas. I thought it was unbalanced and I still think it’s unbalanced until we get people in.
The physicality of us, we’re not a big side. Millwall played to their strengths in the second half and we got caught up in that euphoria and emotion of the game.
We had to play with the ball and play to our strengths. First half we did that, second half we tried to fight them at their own game.
The second goal, it was never a free-kick against Flynn (Downes) – never. Jordan (Spence) should have done better (when conceding the corner), he thinks it’s come off one of their lads.
The third one I’ll debate because that was a really strong tackle (on Dean Gerken) and I see goalkeepers getting fouls when it’s the tiniest little nudge from a corner.
We have to be stronger, but we don’t have great, massive height or massive physicality in the side.
The midfield lads are all young kids. Their bodies are still developing. That’s where the club is at the minute. I can’t physically give somebody strength. I can’t give them experience, they can only get through games.
That’s where the football club is at the minute until we get a hand.
Q: You mentioned height and physicality. When you say the squad is unbalanced, do you mean attributes like these as well as the number of players for certain positions?
A: I recognised it right away with how I thought it was unbalanced. I could see it and feel it.
I knew if anything happened to Cole Skuse, who was going to be the sitting midfielder? I’ve converted Trevoh Chalobah to that role, and he’s done brilliantly, but Cole was the one who gives you the experience to spray the ball around.
This club lost a hell of a lot of players last summer. It lost 60-odd goals. The lad (Bersant) Celina created a lot of stuff, the lad (Callum) Connolly scored five goals, it’s lost a hell of a lot of goals out the side.
And experienced lads who knew the league. That’s where it fell down.
Q: If you add some height and physicality to the team, will the style of football stay the same?
A: Yeah. That will be my blueprint here right through the club. If I go away from that it will never move. In the long-term we have to bring some identity back to the club. That’s the way I want to do it.
I love it here. It’s a great club that’s just lost its way a bit.
The supporters have been brilliant. The atmosphere at the stadium has been great. Everybody sees what we’re trying to do and is right behind it.
It’s probably a repair job, first and foremost, but at least we’re making the football more exciting. I think that’s important.
Hopefully it will get even more exciting, people can fasten their seat belts and we can get going.
It doesn’t matter what type of player I have here. If they play my way, Ill make them better players.
Q: It was an emotional rollercoaster on Tuesday. One piece of positive feedback I’ve been getting from fans is that at least they are feeling something at games now unlike in the not so distant past.
A: You’re right, I think people come to the stadium now excited because of the football we’re playing and the atmosphere it’s generating.
Once it turns it will be unbelievable this. It will be brilliant.
It’s really important for this club to get everybody on side.
We just need a little bit of help through players coming in. Even then it’s a massive rebuilding job here to get this place back to what it should be.
It should be a stadium where the football is exciting, it’s vibrant and it’s at it every single time.
Q: Will the signings you make this month be purely for a short-term shot at survival or will you have half an eye on the future given the club’s current position?
A: There’s a bit of both. The football club has gone down a lot of loan routes. They come and go and it can’t keep doing that. You have to have your own team of players. Maybe one or two loans, I get that, but not an influx. It’s very difficult to sustain that.
It’s a great club with great foundations, it just needs to be dragged up I think.
When we get everybody unified and everybody goes the same way it could be brilliant.
I was walking through the town yesterday, the first time I’ve been in it, and I thought dear oh dear if you can get this place going it could be absolutely brilliant. There’s one team in the town, that gives it the power.
If you get it right it could be absolutely brilliant.
Q: Was the first half performance on Tuesday a sign of how things could be in the future?
A: If we get our own team in and are given a chance at it then that’s the type of football we want to play. The way we play is well documented.
I want the football club to be run that way right through the levels. If I don’t put the foundations in, if you turn a blind eye to that, the club will never move and the structure will never be there.
I want the 23s and the 18s to play the same way as the first team. Right the way down through the 16s, the 15s…
If you keep on chopping and changing, chopping and changing, and you never build, and I only concentrate on one aspect of the club, then I think I’d be looking at failure – and I don’t want to do that.